Martin Pitt 1939-2019
Martin Pitt was an outstanding schoolmaster, educator and rugby coach. Formerly Senior Master, Deputy Head and Acting Headmaster of Cranbrook School from 1976 till 1991. He was a pupil at this school from 1953 to 1957 and returned as a member of staff in 1962. He served the school with distinction until he retired in 2003.
His contribution to the ethos, life and work of Cranbrook was immeasurable .He was an outstanding class Geography teacher , performed Housemaster duties with distinction and was involved in a large number of co-curricular activities.
Martin always saw himself as a teacher and in an interview in 1993 he said ,” If you get involved and show the boys you’re willing to get in the trenches, then they respect you for that ———I never had any trouble with discipline because I hunted with them.I was out there, doing the job . …..I became a bit of a guru in rugby for the whole time I was in the school, ……….. rugby is important to a lot of the boys so that helped . “
Rugby was also important to Martin. He was one of the most successful coaches of the game for over 30 years and took teams at First XV level at Cranbrook , The Armidale School and Shore. He also was involved at representative level coaching Combined Associated Schools and N.S.W Schools .He was also appointed as Manager of a number of Australian Rugby Schools Teams..
He inspired his teams with his enthusiasm and clever tactics . He stressed the importance of teamwork and was able to instil a fair but competitive spirit in all the teams he coached. At Cranbrook his coaching was described as “dedicated, passionate and pioneering “
In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his services to Rugby.
In addition to his services to rugby at the actual school level Martin also saw the value in supporting the sport on a wider level. He was a valued member of the N.S.W. Schools’ Union in a number of capacities . He represented that Union as a delegate to the Australian body.
He was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Schools for his wholehearted contribution . He was on the Committee for the period 1977-82 and returned for the years 1989 and 1990 . In 1991 and 1992 he performed the important role of Chairman of the National Selectors group.
His untimely death in 2010 while overseas with his wife Robin, robbed us of a valuable supporter and contributor.
His teacher’s passionate and pioneering work lives on to this day in the Cranbrook Schools in the form of the Martin Pitt Scholarship. Awarded to a talented and passionate sportsman from a rural area, who shows potential as a leader and gives unselfish service, this award allows a boy who otherwise could not afford to attend the school to board from Years 7 to 12.
After Martin’s death, his family also donated the Pitt Cup as the prize for the winning the Pitt Dash, originally an annual race around the School. The Pitt Cup is now awarded to the winning House in the inter-House sporting competitions and is highly sought after by students each year.